This issue sees the end of Free Range – it closed its doors on the 8th of August, and one of the most important spaces for emerging artists in Western Australia was gone. It is a travesty that the MRA is not desperately giving a new space to the Free Range board, but our fingers remain crossed for its future. The beauty of Free Range is that while a traditional show could be put on in its small cube space, it also allowed the most experimental shows to use it as well – I fondly remember the one-night-only series as an important part of this, that opened up a range of more experimental and leniently priced space. Not all one-night-only events are successful, but unlike Rumblestrip, it is hard to get overblown in Free Range, which maintains modesty in scale and size. Even a weeklong show is an affordable expense, and allows a great many artists access to space outside of more high-end venues.
In honour of Free Range as it was, this issue is addressed to a series of ARIs and the work within them, along with three shows at Free Range. Though it is not – as evidenced by the closure of this space – the most sustainable scene in the state, there is a gap to be filled, and ARIs are doing their best. Here’s to you, 339.